3

Seventy-Four Years Ago

In 1982 when I graduated from law school, and went to work at a law firm, I was reminded of just how living a memory D-Day still was at that time.  The senior partner had lost his son on Omaha Beach.  Another partner, who had been elected a judge and left the firm before I arrived, had been severely wounded at Omaha Beach and still walked with a pronounced limp as a result.  A third partner in the firm had been a ground officer with the Eighth Air Force, and had helped to co-ordinate air support on D-Day.  In the intervening years all of those men have died, and soon the events of D-Day will leave living memory as the last of the veterans depart.  It is important that we remember this day that began what Eisenhower called the Crusade in Europe.

Eisenhower demonstrated his true greatness when he secretly had this letter prepared to be released in the event the Normandy landings failed:  “Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. “My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troop, the air force and the navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone.”  Italics added.  A willingness to shoulder all the blame in the event of such a colossal defeat is something rare in history.  Eisenhower idolized General Robert E. Lee and Lee showed precisely this same rare quality.  After Pickett’s Charge he met the defeated Confederate troops and told them that it was all his fault.  He tendered his resignation to Jefferson Davis, which the Confederate President wisely refused to accept.  It is easy to be noble in victory, far harder in defeat.

In the event D-Day did not fail. 2,499 Americans and 1,915 from Great Britain, Canada and the other Allied Powers, paid the ultimate price for the victory gained that day.  They deserve to be remembered for helping to remove a terrible evil from the world 74 years ago.

 

3

PopeWatch: Monty Python Skit

Life in the current pontificate often seems to resemble a Monty Python skit.  Case in point, the choice by the Pope of Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez  to head the Archdiocese of La Plata in Argentina:

On December 15, 2009, Cardinal Bergoglio appointed Fernandez as rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina. However, much to the frustration of Cardinal Bergoglio, Fernandez was not able to take the oath of office until May 20, 2011, after he had answered objections to his appointment raised by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which assessed concerns about the orthodoxy of certain elements of his scholarship.

An avid writer, by the time Fernandez was chosen by Cardinal Bergoglio as the UCA rector, he had written more than 100 articles and books, including, “Incarnated Spiritual Theology” (2004), a book that was featured in the Argentinean soap opera “Esperanza Mía,” about an illicit love affair between a priest and a nun.

The book commonly regarded as his most unusual is the 1995 work “Heal me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing.” Regarding the book, Fernandez explained that: “in these pages I want to synthesize the popular feeling, what people feel when they think of a kiss, what they experience when they kiss… So, trying to synthesize the immense richness of life, these pages emerged in favor of kissing. I hope that they help you kiss better, that they motivate you to release the best of yourself in a kiss.”

The book has disappeared from most official lists of Fernandez’ works.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Our Church is governed by fools and worse.

2

June 6, 1944: The Great Crusade

 

 

SUPREME HEADQUARTERS
ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCE

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

(Signed, ‘Dwight D. Eisenhower’) Continue Reading

2

D-Day on Film

There have been surprisingly few movies on D-Day, as indicated by the fact that three out of the five videos looked at below are from television miniseries.  Here are the five best from  a scarce lot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Ike: The War Years (1978)

Robert Duvall as Eisenhower gives his usual riveting performance.  The late Lee Remick  gives a good performance as Captain Kay Summersby, the British driver/secretary assigned to Eisenhower.  Unfortunately the miniseries centers around the relationship of Eisenhower and Summersby, a relationship which is subject to historical dispute.

4.  Ike: Countdown to D-Day (1995)

Tom Selleck gives a very good portrayal of Eisenhower in the days leading up to D-Day.  The video does a first rate job of portraying the problems that Eisenhower confronted:  getting prima donnas like Montgomery and Patton to work as a part of a team, concerns about the weather, the deception campaign to convince the Nazis that Calais would be the invasion site, etc.  The video also shines a light on the weight of responsibility which Eisenhower bore, especially when we see him write out a note just before the invasion taking full responsibility on his shoulders if it failed.

3.  Band of Brothers (2001)

The epic miniseries covering the exploits of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne, captures well the chaos of the parachute and glider operations behind German lines that were so critical a part of the Allied victory on D-Day. Continue Reading

10

Father Flakey and the Armed Guard

 

 

 

 

One of the truisms of Catholic journalism in this country is that it is never a waste of time to inquire what “Father Flakey”, as he was christened long ago by legendary Chicago columnist, the late and great Mike Royko, is up to:

 

 

An armed security guard associated with staunch anti-gun and nationally known social activist, Father Michael Pfleger, was arrested on May 27 outside St. Sabina’s Roman Catholic Church on the South Side where Pfleger is a senior pastor. 

The Chicago Police (CPD) charged Henry Eugene Hale, 35, with possessing a firearm without a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. He was released on $150 bond.

Go here to read the rest.  Like most gun control activists Father Flakey wants you to be unarmed while he has an armed guard at his back.  Makes perfect sense as long as one is not bothered by blatant hypocrisy.  Time to take a trip down memory lane for a few of Father Flakey’s greatest hits:

“Pfleger generated controversy by inviting Al Sharpton to speak at a Mass during Black History Month celebrations. Cardinal Francis George disapproved of Sharpton’s appearance, due to Sharpton’s support of abortion. Sharpton was also a presidential candidate at the time, and archdiocese officials were concerned that having a political candidate speak in church would cause them to lose their tax-exempt status. However, George decided that trying to stop Sharpton from coming “would be a futile gesture and a waste of effort”.”

“In May 2007, During a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition protest outside a suburban Chicago gun shop, Pfleger was accused of threatening the life of the owner, John Riggio. The Illinois State Rifle Association released a tape where Pfleger was heard telling the assembled crowd, “He’s the owner of Chuck’s. John Riggio. R-i-g-g-i-o. We’re going to find you and snuff you out… you know you’re going to hide like a rat. You’re going to hide but like a rat we’re going to catch you and pull you out.” Pfleger later claimed his use of the phrase “snuff you out” was misinterpreted.”

“Cardinal George rebuked Pfleger, saying, “Publicly delivering a threat against anyone’s life betrays the civil order and is morally outrageous, especially if this threat came from a priest.” Pfleger claimed that he did not intend to use the word “snuff” as a slang term for “kill”, but rather as a substitute for “pull”, as he used later in his statement.”

“On May 25, 2008, Pfleger gave a sermon at Trinity United Church of Christ, then Presidential candidate Barack Obama’s church, where he made controversial statements concerning Senator Hillary Clinton, Obama’s opponent for the Democratic Party nomination. Pfleger said, “I really believe that she just always thought, ‘This is mine. I’m Bill’s wife. I’m white, and this is mine. I just gotta get up and step into the plate.’ Then out of nowhere came, ‘Hey, I’m Barack Obama,’ and she said, ‘Oh, damn! Where did you come from? I’m white! I’m entitled! There’s a black man stealing my show!’” He then pretended to wipe tears from his face, a reference to Clinton’s emotional speech before the New Hampshire primary, and added, “She wasn’t the only one crying. There was a whole lot of white people crying.”

“After hearing about Pfleger’s remarks, Obama said he was “deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger’s divisive, backward-looking rhetoric”. Pfleger later released a statement through St. Sabina that read, “I regret the words I chose Sunday. These words are inconsistent with Sen. Obama’s life and message, and I am deeply sorry if they offended Sen. Clinton or anyone else who saw them.” On May 31, 2008, Obama resigned his membership in Trinity Church, saying that his campaign had caused the church to receive excessive media attention. On June 1, 2008, Pfleger released a longer apology to the St. Sabina parish regarding the incident and its aftermath.”

“On June 3, 2008, Cardinal George asked Pfleger to take a disciplinary leave of absence from St. Sabina. George said in a statement, “I have asked Father Michael Pfleger, Pastor of St. Sabina’s Parish, to step back from his obligations there and take leave for a couple of weeks from his pastoral duties, effective today. Fr. Pfleger does not believe this to be the right step at this time. While respecting his disagreement, I have nevertheless asked him to use this opportunity to reflect on his recent statements and actions in the light of the Church’s regulations for all Catholic priests. I hope that this period will also be a time away from the public spotlight and for rest and attention to family concerns.” Pfleger resumed his parish duties on June 16, 2008.”

“On April 11, 2010, Pfleger delivered a 70-minute sermon in which he said the Apostles “had run out on” Jesus. “They had turned their backs on Him. They had left the One they had been with for three years, 24/7, and they ran away from Him when He most needed them. Only John, at the foot of the Cross and the women. That’s why there should be woman priests. That’s why there should be married priests. That’s why there should be women bishops and women cardinals.” The Archdiocese of Chicago later issued a statement by Pfleger in which he apologized for his remarks but reaffirmed his support for women’s ordination. Pfleger said on his Facebook fan page that he was told to apologize, despite still holding those opinions. Pfleger denounced critics of his comments as “ignorant haters” who took his homily “out of context” and used them “for their own particular motives.”

Will Rogers used to say that he was not a member of any organized political party, he was a Democrat.  In viewing the colorful career of Father Flakey, and how he remains a priest in good standing, I often reflect that I must be no member of any organized religion, I am a Catholic.

 

7

Democrats Bring the Crazy

Perhaps the most salient feature of the Trump era is how crazy he makes most Democrats:

Why is this?  Democrats during the Obama years kept telling themselves that they were now the majority party of the future, thanks to demographic change, even as they lost control of Congress and became the weakest at the State level that they have been since before the New Deal.  When Hillary lost, Democrats suddenly woke up from their Obama trance to a hostile political environment.  Their reaction was to go hard left and to attempt to shout down any voices within their party that told them this was madness.  They are aided and abetted in this trek over the cliff by the entertainment industry and academia which are also captives of the hard left.  We shall see how this strategy works for them in November.  Thus far the Democrat lead on the generic Congressional ballot has plummeted from a high of fifteen points, and now stands at three points.

1

June 5, 1944: Patton Delivers The Speech

“There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON’T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, “Well, your Granddaddy shoveled sh-t in Louisiana.” No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, “Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-G-dd—ed-B—h named Georgie Patton!”

General George S. Patton, Jr., June 5, 1944

General George S. Patton, Jr., not only had high military skills, he was also a skilled actor, using that skill to inspire his troops and sometimes to terrify his immediate subordinates.  After Patton was placed in the dog house due to the slapping of a private on Sicily, Army Chief of Staff George Marshall came up with the idea of using Patton as a decoy:  Marshall wrote to Eisenhower on October 21, 1943: “It seems evident to us that Patton’s movements are of great importance to German reactions and therefore should be carefully considered. I had thought and spoke to [Eisenhower’s chief of staff, Walter Bedell] Smith about Patton being given a trip to Cairo and Cyprus but the Corsican visit appeals to me as carrying much more of a threat [to northern Italy].” Eisenhower responded, “As it is I am quite sure that we must do everything possible to keep [the Germans] confused and the point you have suggested concerning Patton’s movements appeals to me as having a great deal of merit. This possibility had not previously occurred to me.”

Ironically, although the Germans after his dash across France at the head of Third Army would regard Patton as one of ablest Allied generals, prior to that time his name figures little in German intelligence reports, while constant attention was paid to the movements of Montgomery.  The plan to use Patton as a decoy was therefore based on a faulty premise, but of course Eisenhower and Marshall were completely unaware of that. Continue Reading

1

PopeWatch: Pressure

Something to remember for the remainder of this pontificate.  When the Pope encounters enough resistance he can be slowed down, if not stopped.  Sandro Magister brings us the details:

 

In receiving this morning, Monday June 4, a delegation of the German Lutheran Evangelical Church, Pope Francis cautioned against the “eagerness to run ahead” and was at pains to say that “some issues, I think of the Church, the Eucharist and the ecclesial ministry, deserve detailed and thoroughly shared reflection.”

In these words there can be glimpsed a veiled allusion to the controversy, which has exploded among the Catholic bishops of Germany, of whether or not to admit Protestant spouses as well to Eucharistic communion.

But that’s not all. Because this same morning the German bishops received a letter from newly created cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer (in the photo), prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, which establishes firm guidelines on this very question.

The letter is reproduced in its entirety further below, translated from the original German. It bears the date of May 25. And the day before, on May 24, Francis had met with Ladaria to compose the definitive draft.

The background to this letter is the document approved last February by a majority vote in the German episcopal conference, headed by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich, which says how and when to allow communion for Protestant spouses.

An appeal against this document was made to Rome, to the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, by seven bishops including the cardinal of Cologne, Rainer Maria Woelki:

> One Cardinal, Seven Bishops, and Four New “Dubia.” This Time on Intercommunion

After this a summit was convened in Rome by the pope on May 3, with the Vatican authorities in charge of doctrine and ecumenism and German representatives of the two conflicting sides.

The summit had concluded with a statement informing that Ladaria had communicated to the German bishops Pope Francis’s request that they “find, in a spirit of ecclesial communion, a unanimous result if possible.”

And this made the dispute continue in an even more heated way, not only in Germany but all over the world:

> Communion For Protestants. The Bomb Went Off In Germany, But It’s Shaking the Whole Church

Now, however, this letter from the prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, written and sent “with the explicit approval of the pope,” blocks the publication of the document of the German bishops that ignited the controversy and reassigns the question to a more mature reflection at the level of the “universal” Church and of ecumenical relations with other Churches, apart from the Protestants.

 

Go here to read the rest.

 

1

June 4, 1989: In Memoriam: Tiananmen Square

 

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.”

Thucydides

Today is the twenty-ninth anniversary of the beginning of the brutal suppression of the pro-Democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.  Over 3000 of the protestors were murdered by the Communist government of China.  Tyranny won that round, but I have absolutely no doubt that Democracy will ultimately prevail in the Middle Kingdom.  When it does, the heroes and heroines of Tiananmen Square will be remembered and their murderers forgotten.

 

0

June 4, 1940

May it not also be that the cause of civilization itself will be defended by the skill and devotion of a few thousand airmen? There never has been, I suppose, in all the world, in all the history of war, such an opportunity for youth. The Knights of the Round Table, the Crusaders, all fall back into the past-not only distant but prosaic; these young men, going forth every morn to guard their native land and all that we stand for, holding in their hands these instruments of colossal and shattering power, of whom it may be said that:

Every morn brought forth a noble chance
And every chance brought forth a noble knight,
deserve our gratitude, as do all the brave men who, in so many ways and on so many occasions, are ready, and continue ready to give life and all for their native land.

Winston Churchill, June 4, 1940

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

June 1918: Germans at the Gates of Paris

 

As June dawned a hundred years ago, the crisis of the War was unfolding for the Allies.  The offensive code named Operation Blucher undertaken at the end of May had been a success with the Germans now only thirty-nine miles from Paris at Belleau Wood.  The French government began planning for the evacuation of government officials and offices to Bordeaux.  The Germans were now back on the river Marne where they had been repulsed in 1914.  Having taken 50,000 French troops prisoners, the German offensive initiated a sense of panic in Paris, exacerbated by random bombardment of the City of Lights by German long range guns.  The iron dice of war were rolling and the situation was in flux after four years of stasis on the Western Front.

4

PopeWatch: Venezuela

The socialist idiots who run Venezuela have a slogan:  Socialism or Death!  They seem to have modified the slogan to Socialism and Death, since violent death, or death by starvation, seems to be the only thing being produced by that country currently.  The Pope has largely remained silent, and Sandro Magister gives us an example of the indulgent attitude of the Pope to the Venezuela regime:

 

One of these concerns Venezuela. Against the background of the disaster into which the country has plunged and in the run-up to the false elections for reconfirming in power the heir of Hugo Chávez, Nicolás Maduro, there erupted last week a revolt – which was harshly repressed – in the El Helicoide prison in Caracas, a place of detention and torture for political prisoners who crime is that of having opposed the regime.

At the news of the revolt the archbishop of Caracas, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, and then the Venezuelan episcopal conference appealed “to the state, to its responsibility for the life and well-being of all persons imprisoned.” And at the Vatican, the secretariat of state judged it opportune for Pope Francis to speak out as well, at the end of the Regina Caeli on May 20, the Sunday of Pentecost.

In fact, here is the text of the appeal as provided for the journalists accredited to the Holy See one hour before the pope spoke, naturally under embargo until the moment when the text was spoken and with the obligation of comparing it with the words actually said:

“I would like to dedicate once again a special consideration to beloved Venezuela. With the help of the Holy Spirit, may all work to find just, effective, and peaceful solutions for the grave humanitarian, political, economic, and social crisis that is exhausting the population, and avoid the temptation of resorting to any kind of violence. I encourage the authorities of the country to guarantee respect for the life and well-being of every person, especially those who, like the imprisoned, are under their responsibility.”

But then, when he addressed the crowd present in Saint Peter’s Square, Francis did not read the text he was holding in his hands. He looked up and improvised these words:

“I would like to dedicate a special consideration to beloved Venezuela. I ask that the Holy Spirit give the whole Venezuelan people – all, leaders, people – the wisdom to find the path of peace and unity. I also pray for the prisoners who died yesterday.”

Very disappointing words for Venezuelans, precisely because they are so indulgent – like other times in the past – toward the regime of Maduro, for which the pope avoided any direct call to responsibility, which instead was explicit in the severe words that the secretariat of state provided and that he set aside.

Go here to read the rest.  Like most leftists the Pope clearly believes in the maxim:  No enemies on the Left.

5

PopeWatch: Too Catholic

From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

Congregants of a Baptist church in South Carolina yesterday unanimously voted to remove all bibles from their church because many believe it’s too “Catholic” for their place of worship.

In a letter written to his congregation, Pastor Don Ringle said the bibles would be removed this week.

“We have discovered that there are people that view the bible as Catholic in nature,” Ringle wrote, going on to say that the bible was beginning to bring into question “the theology and core values of the church.”

“I’ve tried for years to remove certain passages from the bible, telling people to tear out this book and that, this chapter and that, until we were basically left with a pamphlet. After some consideration and dialogue with my congregants, as well as prayer, we decided the whole bible that was left to us still smelled a little too papist.”

The letter also stated that Catholic churches around the South Carolina area had until Friday to pick up the bibles if they wanted to keep them, and that if not, they would be destroyed.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church in the area thanked Ringle, but said that they have no use for abridged versions of the bible.

 

Go here to comment.  PopeWatch has been unable to confirm that in response the Pontifical Council on Interreligious Dialogue is contemplating a statement of concern that the Bible is un-ecumenical.

3

Panis Angelicus

Saint Thomas Aquinas composed Sacris Solemnis at the command of Pope Urban IV for the new feast of Corpus Christi in 1264.  The last two stanzas have become the hymn Panis Angelicus.  I have always viewed this as the heart of the Summa set to music.

When he was canonized in 1323 some objections were raised because of a lack of miracles relating to the Angelic Doctor.  Pope John xxii responded that every question Saint Thomas answered was a miracle.

Why we call God Father

1. He created us. We call God Father because He created us in a special way-namely, in His own image and likeness which He did not impress on other creatures here below: “He is thy Father Who made thee, and created thee.”

2. He governs us. We also call God Father because He governs us. For although He governs all things, yet He governs us as masters of ourselves whereas He governs other things as slaves of His will: “Thy providence, O Father, governs all things”. “Thou disposest of us with great favor”.

3. He adopted us. We call God Father because He has adopted us. For He endowed other creatures with trifling gifts, but to us He granted the inheritance, because (as the Apostle says) we are His sons “and if sons, heirs also”. “You have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons whereby we cry, Abba (‘Father’)”.

Saint Thomas Aquinas

 

 

0

A Time For Us

Count Marc Antonio Verano:

For 70 years,
I've watched the seasons change.
I've seen the vibrant life of summer,
the brilliant death of fall...
the silent grave of winter.
And then, I've seen
the resurrection of spring,
the glorious birth of new life.
And my father and my father's father
have seen it before me.
Nothing ever dies, my friend.
You don't believe that,
do you?

 Andrea Orsini:
I don't have your wisdom,
my lord.
I believe that I was born
and that I must die...
and that I must make the best of what
lies between the two extremes.
Screenplay, Prince of Foxes (1949)



 

 

 

 

 

Something for the weekend.  A Time For Us, also known as The Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet (1968) and What is a Youth. Written by Henry Mancini for Franco Zeffirelli’s take on Shakespeare’s immortal tale of doomed love.  I know of no other song that better conveys the passage of time, and what a joyous, sad and wondrous thing the life that God grants us is.

 

 

 

13

Father Paddy McCafferty

Think the fight over abortion is ended in Ireland?  It has just begun, if Father Paddy McCafferty has anything to say about it:

You cannot be a Catholic and be in favour of abortion. Deliberate abortion is so grave a sin that those who procure an abortion, those who carry out the procedure, those who participate in it, or facilitate it, are excommunicated with immediate effect. People who reject such a vitally important teaching of Christ need to be spiritually and morally honest. The sacraments of Jesus Christ, for example, are not mere rites of passage. Therefore, choose a secular education for children, avail of other rites of passage and/or invent new ones.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Father McCafferty has promised to protest outside abortion clinics when they open in Ireland.  In him burns bright the spirit of the Catholic priests down through the centuries who upheld the cross of Christ for their oppressed countrymen and the dream of a free Ireland.  He is as different from the spineless leaders of the Church in Ireland as it is possible to be.  Go here to read more about this fascinating and fearless priest.

 

8

Yep

Section 1. Be it enacted by the legislature of the state of Mississippi, that no freedman, free Negro, or mulatto not in the military service of the United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry firearms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk, or Bowie knife; and, on conviction thereof in the county court, shall be punished by fine, not exceeding $10, and pay the costs of such proceedings, and all such arms or ammunition shall be forfeited to the informer; and it shall be the duty of every civil and military officer to arrest any freedman, free Negro, or mulatto found with any such arms or ammunition, and cause him or her to be committed for trial in default of bail.

Mississippi Penal Code, 1866

11

I Have Seen a Unicorn!

A real pro-life Democrat!

 

Today Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a pro-life Democrat, signed into law a bill limiting abortion after 15 weeks. SB181, which was sponsored by another pro-life Democrat, State Senator John Milkovich, will go into effect if a similar Mississippi law is upheld by the courts. The legislation passed overwhelmingly in both chambers of the legislature: 70-9 in the House, 24-1 in the Senate.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Bravo Governor!

17

Trump Pardons D’Souza

 

 

President Trump today issued a pardon to conservative gadfly Dinesh D’Souza.  D’Souza was convicted of a felony in 2014 in a donation bundling scandal when a friend of his was running for the Senate from New York and he contributed $20,000.00 to her campaign.  (As liberal Harvard Professor of Law Alan Dershowitz  noted at the time: “charging him with a felony for this doesn’t sound like a proper exercise of prosecutorial discretion…. I can’t help but think that [D’Souza’s] politics have something to do with it…. It smacks of selective prosecution.”)  When a House committee subpoenaed the criminal prosecution file of D’Souza during the Obama administration, the Department of Justice refused to turn it over.  D’Souza believes that his prosecution was political payback for his prior documentaries attacking Obama, and I think he is correct.

I have spent 35 years at the bar and been involved as a defense attorney, private and appointed, in hundreds of criminal cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, and two cases as a court appointed special prosecutor, and this prosecution stank  to highest Heaven.  The sum involved is ludicrously small for these types of cases, and D’Souza’s main offense was not setting up a political action committee to properly channel the donation.  A US Attorney would not normally waste his time with this type of “small fry” case.  The usual procedure would either have the prospective defendant come in for an interview with his attorney for a meeting, scare the hell out of him, and then grandly announce at the end that he is not being prosecuted although he should be, or to file a case as a felony and quickly plea bargain it down to a misdemeanor.  Instead, D’Souza had the book thrown at him in the prosecution.  When D’Souza decided to plead guilty on the eve of trial, the prosecution wanted to send him, a first offender with no criminal record, to prison for ten to sixteen months.  The Judge, Richard M. Berman, sentenced him to eight months of work release in a federal confinement center in San Diego, and five years probation.  During his probation D’Souza was also ordered to teach English to immigrants for eight hours each week as community service.  The Judge ordered that he receive psychological counseling.  In a truly Orwellian turn, the Judge ordered that the psychological counseling continue even though the counselor reported that D’Souza gave no signs of mental illness or depression and did not need psychological counseling.

The Obama administration weaponized the Federal government against its enemies and the prosecution of D’Souza was part of this weaponization.  Trump’s pardon sets right the scales of justice in this case.

9

Saint Joan of Arc and History

Joan was a being so uplifted from the ordinary run of mankind that she finds no equal in a thousand years. She embodied the natural goodness and valour of the human race in unexampled perfection. Unconquerable courage, infinite compassion, the virtue of the simple, the wisdom of the just, shone forth in her. She glorifies as she freed the soil from which she sprang.

Sir Winston Churchill

 

 

Yesterday was the feast day of Joan of Arc.  One of the examples of the direct intervention of God in human affairs, the brief history-altering life of Saint Joan of Arc has attracted the admiration of the most unlikely of men, including the Protestant Sir Winston Churchill, and the agnostic Mark Twain who called his book on Joan of Arc the finest thing he ever wrote.  She was not canonized until 1920, but almost all of her contemporaries who met her had no doubt that she was a saint sent by God.  Some of the English who were present as she was burned at the stake cried out that they were all damned because she was a saint.   Jean Tressard, the Treasurer of Henry VI, King of England, wrote the following soon after the execution of Joan:   “We are all lost for it is a good and holy woman that has been burned. I believe her soul is in the hands of God, and I believe damned all who joined in her condemnation”.  With Saint Joan humanity came into contact with a messenger from God, and the result to her was as predictable as it was lamentable.  However, the outcome of her mission was exactly as she had predicted.  The weak Dauphin that she had crowned would reign as Charles VII and end the Hundred Years War in victory for France, something that none of his contemporaries thought remotely possible before Joan embarked on her mission.

God tends to use unlikely tools to work His ends.  A peasant girl who lived scarcely nineteen years on this globe can sway the destiny of nations if God so wills.  Joan speaks to us powerfully across almost six centuries of the power of God and the courage of a young maid.

 

Whatever thing men call great, look for it in Joan of Arc, and there you will find it.

Mark Twain

 

 

30

Vatican II Fiasco

There are several blogs I consult each day.  One of those is that of my co-blogger The Cranky Conservative.  I am pleased to announce that he has resumed blogging:

Vatican II Failed

I don’t go in for exaggerated Buzzfeed type headlines meant to grab people’s attention, so the title of my post is a meant to convey a simple, straightforward message: it is time to judge the efficacy of Vatican 2, and an honest appraisal can only reach one conclusion: whatever was meant to be accomplished by it has not come to be.

There was more to Vatican 2 than just engagement with the modern world, but that was certainly a core – if not the core – theme of the council. It should be stressed if everything was hunky dory in the Catholic world, then the council would not have been called. In suggesting that the council failed I am not suggesting it was wrong to even call the council.

Nor am I suggesting that all the problems of modern Catholicism are because of Vatican 2. And I certainly do not mean to imply that many of the documents produced at Vatican 2 were not beautiful affirmations of the central tenets of the faith. And I definitely do not think the council or the documents produced therein were heretical, and that everything post Vatican 2 is essentially a false Church.

But if the aim of the council was to reignite the faith, and to engage the wider world to foster communication and understanding, in what way has there been any measurable success? In light of 68 percent of “Catholic” Ireland voting to legalize abortion (or, more accurately, to repeal the constitutional prohibition), maybe now is the time for an honest reassessment.

As I said, the problems didn’t start with Vatican 2. There were problems in the Church, and the itch to modernize was already evident. All one has to do is read the transcript of JFK’s famous Houston speech to understand that things were beginning to change. Reading that now I can’t help but imagine Barack Obama giving a speech in 2008 basically saying it was okay to vote for him because he wasn’t that black, because that was the message JFK conveyed, intentionally or no.

But what has happened since Vatican 2? Is the modern world more “accepting” of Catholicism. Sure, as long as it’s the watered down vision offered by Kennedy and a succession of prelates. Every non-Catholic’s favorite pope is the our current pontiff, and why? Because he says a lot of things that sound vaguely non-Catholic. This isn’t so much an engagement with the world as a surrender.

Is the Church thriving? In certain parts of the world, sure. Even in the United States there are certain dioceses that continue to flourish, and which produce many healthy vocations. Yet there is also a decided decline in Catholic identity, and I’m not just talking about the empty pews in all too many parishes. Even among committed Catholics the sense of uniqueness has dwindled. Some would say this is a good thing: Catholics are finally fitting in!

But if Catholics are going to draw people to the faith by showing it through their lives, is this really happening? “Jim’s a nice guy – he really has a nice family.” That’s all well and good. Wouldn’t it be better to hear, “Jim’s a Catholic, and he exudes faith in Christ. I’d be interesting in hearing more about Catholicism.”

I know I’m oversimplifying and presenting an idealized version of what Catholicism could be. But maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing when Catholics stood out.

 

Go here to read the rest.  There are aspects of Vatican II I like.  For example, the embrace, not complete, of religious liberty.   However, as a Church Council it was a disaster.  It produced a new form of the Mass that is often banal and ugly in its implementation.  It replaced a universal language for our Masses with a babel of tongues.  It began the process of the Church aping the world with often dire consequences.  It launched a “let’s pretend” ecumenicalism which has been death for the essential Catholic teaching that this is The True Faith.  The implementation has stunk on ice with the actual documents being ignored and every boneheaded idea imaginable being implemented under the banner of Vatican II.  The Church, always speaking only of the human part, was not perfect prior to Vatican II, but it seems like perfection compared to what has come after Vatican II.  It is often said that Vatican II cannot be blamed solely for all the problems that the Church has gone through since, and that is a fair enough observation.  However, the radical secularization embraced by the West since the 60s, due to Vatican II, was confronted by a weakened Church, a Church that was seen not so much as having thrown open her windows to the world, but rather capitulated to it.  Perhaps the most dreadful legacy of Vatican II is the failure of so many Catholics to any longer believe that membership in the Church is essential to their salvation.  That sad fact goes a long way to explaining many things:  the plummeting of religious vocations, the abandonment of Church pews on Sunday and atrocities like the Irish referendum on abortion on May 25.  I accept Vatican II as a valid Church Council as I am by the Faith obliged to do.  However, I agree with Paul VI who led the Church in the aftermath that the smoke of Satan has entered the Church.  If Satan had been devising a Church Council to devastate the Faith for generations, could he have done better, from his perspective, than what has been brought about in the wake of Vatican II?

12

Our Second War For Independence

And what a disastrous Second War for Independence the War of 1812 tended to be for the infant US with the major exception of the Battle of New Orleans fought after the treaty of peace was signed.  Theodore Roosevelt in his magisterial The Naval War of 1812, written when he was all of 23, understood this:

 

 

In spite of the last trifling success, the campaign had been to the British both bloody and disastrous. It did not affect the results of the war; and the decisive battle itself was a perfectly useless shedding of blood, for peace had been declared before it was fought. Nevertheless, it was not only glorious but profitable to the United States. Louisiana was saved from being severely ravaged, and New Orleans from possible destruction; and after our humiliating defeats in trying to repel the invasions of Virginia and Maryland, the signal victory of New Orleans was really almost a necessity for the preservation of the national honor. This campaign was the great event of the war, and in it was fought the most important battle as regards numbers that took place during the entire struggle; and the fact that we were victorious, not only saved our self-respect at home, but also gave us prestige abroad which we should otherwise have totally lacked. It could not be said to entirely balance the numerous defeats that we had elsewhere suffered on land—defeats which had so far only been offset by Harrison’s victory in 1813 and the campaign in Lower Canada in 1814—but it at any rate went a long way toward making the score even.

Jackson is certainly by all odds the most prominent figure that appeared during this war, and stands head and shoulders above any other commander, American or British, that it produced. It will be difficult, in all history, to show a parallel to the feat that he performed. In three weeks’ fighting, with a force largely composed of militia, he utterly defeated and drove away an army twice the size of his own, composed of veteran troops, and led by one of the ablest of European generals. During the whole campaign he only erred once, and that was in putting General Morgan, a very incompetent officer, in command of the forces on the west bank. He suited his movements admirably to the various exigencies that arose. The promptness and skill with which he attacked, as soon as he knew of the near approach of the British, undoubtedly saved the city; for their vanguard was so roughly handled that, instead of being able to advance at once, they were forced to delay three days, during which time Jackson entrenched himself in a position from which he was never driven. But after this attack the offensive would have been not only hazardous, but useless, and accordingly Jackson, adopting the mode of warfare which best suited the ground he was on and the troops he had under him, forced the enemy always to fight him where he was strongest, and confined himself strictly to the pure defensive—a system condemned by most European authorities, [Footnote: Thus Napier says (vol. v, p. 25): “Soult fared as most generals will who seek by extensive lines to supply the want of numbers or of hardiness in the troops. Against rude commanders and undisciplined soldiers, lines may avail; seldom against accomplished commanders, never when the assailants are the better soldiers.” And again (p. 150), “Offensive operations must be the basis of a good defensive system.”] but which has at times succeeded to admiration in America, as witness Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Kenesaw Mountain, and Franklin.

8

PopeWatch: Only Words

Good words from the Pope:

 

Ideologies that do not acknowledge and uphold the dignity of human life must be resisted and the Catholic Church’s teaching on life affirmed, Pope Francis told a group of Catholic doctors Monday.

“The Church is for life, and her concern is that nothing is against life in the reality of a concrete existence, however weak or defenseless, even if not developed or not advanced,” the Pope said May 28 in the Vatican’s papal hall.

He noted the “hardships and difficulties” physicians may face when they are faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church, particularly when they promote and defend human life “from its conception to its natural end.”

Doctors “are called to affirm the centrality of the patient as a person and his dignity, with his inalienable rights, primarily the right to life,” he said.

“The tendency to debase the sick man as a machine to be repaired, without respect for moral principles, and to exploit the weakest by discarding what does not correspond to the ideology of efficiency and profit must be resisted.”

Pope Francis spoke with members of the International Federation of Associations of Catholic Physicians ahead of a congress on the theme of “Holiness of Life and the Medical Profession, from Humanae Vitae to Laudato Si” in Zagreb, Croatia, May 30-June 2.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Now what actions can we expect to back up the words?  (Please stop laughing!)

 

Here are a few suggestions:

  1.  Cancel the Papal trip to Ireland.
  2. Dissolve the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland as being worse than useless.
  3. Proclaim Ireland as mission territory.
  4. Order that all students, parents and teachers in Catholic schools in Ireland must sign an oath in support of the right to life from conception until natural death.
  5. Proclaim a day each month for fasting and repentance in Ireland.
  6. Begin a root and branch visitation of the Catholic Church in Ireland and expect to reduce the ranks of the priesthood by at least half.
  7. Close down all Irish seminaries.  Future Irish priests to be trained in seminaries noted for their orthodoxy.

Of course nothing like this will be done, because when it comes to the sickening dehumanization of the West through abortion and euthanasia, Pope Francis is merely paying lip service to the fight against these crimes that cry out to Heaven.

10

PopeWatch: Married Cardinal?

Hattip to commenter Phillip.  From Rorate Caeli:

 

Scandalous news first broken by our Spanish-language partners at Adelante la Fe. The information has been appropriately and thoroughly checked from multiple sources on the ground.
On May 2th, 2018, Pope Francis announced that in the consistory to be celebrated on June 29 this year, Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, he will raise to the cardinalship Bp. Toribio Ticona, titular bishop of Timici and prelate emeritus of Corocoro, Bolivia. The 81-year-old bishop was born on April 25, 1937. He was ordered priest in 1967 and consecrated as Timici’s bishop and axiliary bishop of Potosí, Bolivia, on May 31st, 1986. In 1992 he was appointed prelate of Corocoro, retiring in 2012.
During his frequent visits to Oruro at the beginning of his office, the then bishop of Oruro and future Third World ideologist cardinal, Julio Terrazas Sandoval, CSsR, boasted visiting Oruro’s bishop and called him his “padrino” or sponsor, since he said he had been promoted to the bishopric thanks to Terrazas,who on several occasions as president of the Bolivian Conference of Bishops, and obviously was very influential on the other bishops and the apostoloic Nunciature.
Ticona participated in two Ad Limina visits, in 2008 and 2017. He served as alcalde, according to the local traditional customs of a 12-person community in Bolivia. During his 10-year tenure in the Corocoro prelaturre, the Catholic flock went down from 94.6% to 87.6%, while the Protestant sects’s following grew. It is a well-known fact that while he was servirng his office in Corocoro, he was living more uxorio with a lady in Oruro’s chancery. She and her children are proud to be called wife and children of  the Patacamaya bishop, as Bishop Toribio Ticona is also known.
The family of Bp. Toribio Ticona, Patacamaya bishop, lived in up to three different places of residence in Oruro.
Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch is beyond being shocked by the antics of the Pope.
Update:  The Bishop has denied the allegations.  Go here to the twitter feed of Edward Pentin for the latest.  Pass the popcorn, as this looks to be the best Vatican soap opera of this Ponificate since the trial of Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui.

 

 

Rachel Weeping

A guest post by Don the Kiwi, who is a Deacon in New Zealand, from a homily he gave on Monday:

 

 

Our first reading today speaks of new life -” Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who in his great mercy has given us a new birth as his sons,” – I must add that daughters are included. But He also adds, “ even though you may for a short time have to bear being plagued by all sorts of trials. “
Our gospel speaks of those things which keep us from giving all that we have so that we will have treasure in Heaven . Sadly for most of us, even though, as the rich young man says, “ Master, we have kept all these commandments from our earliest days” -we will nevertheless fall short of that total giving that Jesus asked of the young man , and will depend on God’s mercy and forgiveness with our full repentance, for us to gain His promise.
Hearing these readings, it brings to mind the people of Ireland who have voted in a referendum to repeal a law which severely restricted abortion. We will now see Ireland, for many centuries a guardian of Faith and protector of Life, descend into the abyss that the rest of Western Society has sunk into – that of killing our most innocent and most vulnerable children in the womb – the ultimate in child abuse.
I can’t help recalling the prophecy of Jeremiah – “ A voice was heard in Rama, of great lamentation and bitter weeping. It is Rachel weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted, because they are no more”. This prophecy is repeated by Matthew in his gospel when he reports on the slaughter of the Holy Innocents when Herod, for his own selfish purpose, was determined to kill the new born Jesus. This is one of the things that Peter speaks of in his letter today when he says we will be plagued by all sorts of trials – where that new life promised by God will be stamped out by men of Herod’s kind.
How easily does this make us think of the rich young man in the gospel, who cannot give up his wealth, because he will be deprived of what he is comfortable in. Likewise, we as a society – Ireland is but the latest country in the Western world – we are prepared to accept all kinds of abominations to protect our own comforts and lifestyles and free us from the consequences of our own actions and decisions.
The great G.K.Chesterton made a rhyme -“The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad, For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.” For the Irish, this is a war that will not be merry, and in their history of repression and persecution of the past several centuries, the Irish are known for their sad laments expressed in song.
I am prompted to re-phrase the prophecy of Jeremiah – “ A voice was heard in Erin, of great lametation and weeping – It was Brigit – and Patrick and Columba – weeping for their children; they refuse to be comforted, for they were no more.” But Ireland is not alone in this – just the latest to fall in this war against Life and the unborn.
Our God is the architect of all life. These laws and actions against life are against God, and cannot ultimately last. Let us pray to the Lord of Life that these heinous laws throughout the world will eventually be repealed so that the unborn may enjoy the promise of a fulfilled life in accordance with the Will of God.

20

The New Pro-life Movement and the Irish Vote

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts reminds us that the New Pro-life Movement is a sham of a sham:

 

Yes, it’s true.  The primary job of the Christian New Prolife Movement is to run right tackle for the Left’s vaunted Culture of Death.  The Left, in desperation after a series of political setbacks, has kicked its push for state mandated extermination and euthanasia, along with late term abortion, post-term abortion, and a suicide culture, into high gear.  In addition to sifting through those faithful who might not be fully committed to the cause, it continues to maintain that promise that human life is only sacred when convenient for me.

The New Pro-Life Movement, which is merely a euphemism for Christians committed to the Political Left, is in a bind.  New Pro-Life Christians are not liberal Christians.  Liberal Christians were never hard to recognize.  Doggedly devoted to following the myth of infallible progress, wherever the secular Left went, liberal Christians were sure to tag along. If it meant denying the divinity of Christ, the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation, the Resurrection, the existence of a personal God – it mattered not.  Christian liberalism would jettison anything it took in order to keep up with the Jones’s latest.

But New Pro-Life Christians are often doctrinally traditional, sometimes from the evaporating Christian conservatism, sometimes they are simply those who wish to avoid the Religious Right.  They confess a bodily Resurrection, believe in the Trinitarian God, and if Catholic, the Real Presence.  They officially reject gay marriage, abortion, assisted suicide, and of course anything that denies the belief in God as revealed by Jesus Christ.

And yet, they have aligned with a movement founded on the idea that religion is above all things inspired, not revealed.  That is, religion is mostly – if not entirely – an invention of human imagination.  If God exists at all, it’s nothing but an abstract concept by which we measure our pain (St. John Lennon 3:16).  The majority of stories, doctrines, teachings are nothing but human constructs.

From there, that movement reduces humans to their lowest animal denominator.  It dangles promises of hedonism, narcissism, debauchery and decadence in return for enslavement to those who have deemed themselves worthy of controlling our lives.  It assures us that it will use the crushing gauntlet of the government to eradicate them – whoever them is – but never us.  It gave us trophies when we lost and let us retake exams until we passed because we’re awesome.  It will never be us.  We’re awesome and we come first.  And it does all this while promoting heresies, allowing blasphemies, and legalizing sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance.

This is the side that the New Prolife Movement has chosen to ally with.  Because, unlike liberal Christians, they still hold against many things advocated by this partner in crime, they do the only thing they can do – and that’s ignore.  Sometimes it’s deflection.  Sometimes attack.  Not attack those on their own team advocating the evils, but attack those who refuse to join the team.  But never will they make opposition to the cherished sins of the Left their main focus.  That is why abortion now barely ranks as an issue worth mentioning much, if it’s mentioned at all.

NOTE: I have no links, because I have found no proud ‘New Prolife Movement’ advocates who have mentioned the vote.  I’m sure they’re out there, but the ones I’m aware of have been, as I said, awfully silent.

UPDATEMark Shea has jumped on board with a typical post-war liberal interpretation of the Irish Vote.  The abortion vote happened because socioeconomic forces made it possible for women to have no other choice but use what little power they had to attack the weakest of those that the socioeconomic forces of Ireland had deemed unworthy.   In Mark’s, as in the modern Left’s, appraisal, it is all about the Bourgeoisie vs. the Proletariat.  Those can be different groups of course: native born vs. immigrants, white vs. black, gay vs. straight, religious vs. secular, right vs. left, red vs. blue, male vs. female, young vs. old, rich vs. poor and on and on.  But the important thing is that it is always about one group giving another group no choice but to do what the Church calls sin.  That group must then, logically, be eliminated.

Ireland’s vote, in Mark’s appraisal, has nothing to do with it abandoning the Gospel for the gospel of the Secular Left (which is has done).  No, it’s the economy stupid.  And in this case, Ireland did the right thing by ending laws that discriminated against women (whatever they were), while not doing the same for the children.  Women being victimized by whatever Bourgeois forces were out there then did the logical, albeit sad, thing and turned to aborting those even weaker than them. 

This is how Marxism, not how Christianity, appraises the sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance.  In the modern Left, heavily Marxist influenced, there is no sin, only corrupt and unjust systems and oppressors who force people into unfortunate positions of breaking laws imposed upon them by the wealthy and the powerful.  While the Scriptural witness was never kind to those who wielded the power and wealth, it never let those off the hook who nonetheless had nothing yet turned their backs on God. 

Yes, Mark mentions that the Gospel could have helped, but it was the priest abuse scandal and corruption that made it difficult for the good people of Ireland to find the Gospel.  Nonetheless, that Gospel sounds awfully dependent, not on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of the Church toward all Truth, as much as dependent on popular economic and political policies as enunciated by the modern Left.  I’m afraid that won’t help, since it’s the purveyors of those same policies who also insist that religion is fraud, humans are animals, and only our narcissism and hedonism matter.  Per my friends from Ireland, it’s a message that the good people of Ireland have been following for many years now.  Long before there was a Trump or a neo-conservative movement.  This is merely the same logical step that has been taken by other formerly Christian societies who have embraced the doctrine of the Left, rather than the doctrine of the Least of These.

Go here to comment.  The simple truth is that the New Pro-life Movement are leftists who have zip interest in stopping abortion.  Mark Shea is a good example of this.  His boiling hatred of Republicans and conservatives long ago overwhelmed his desire to protect the lives of the unborn.  When it comes to the great moral issue of our day, they have cast their lot with those who justify child murder with leftist cliches.  May God forgive them.

 

Update:  From the dwindling ranks of Mark’s sane commenters:

 

I mentioned on the “Ireland has a charming culture of death” post; (looks like Mark deleted the entire thing.) : The pro-life movement in America has reduced the number of abortions year after year, regardless of who is in the White House. Despite increasing population, war, recession, a drug epidemic and rising income inequality. The pro-life movement has changed hearts and minds to the extent that the younger generation, the millennial generation, is the most pro-life generation since Roe – statistically unprecedented. That’s what the pro-life movement has achieved.

Meanwhile in Ireland, the progressive movement, which dominates politics there, wielded it’s power not to shelter and support women and children, not to build safety nets and welfare, but to spearhead the repeal of the following equal rights amendment:

“The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

Progressives throughout Ireland and this country celebrated as the weakest most vulnerable people were stripped of constitutional protections. They popped open champagne to congratulate themselves on successfully poisoning the minds of 65% of voters against equal rights for all.

Mark has no comment, I guess, because the story of progressives using their power to commit a massive, historic level of cruelty on the weekend doesn’t mesh with the preferred narrative of the left being somehow “better.” What we got from him instead was a horribly timed collection of stories about Irish death culture and apart from that, silence. But the comments on that piece, before he deleted it, were full of progressives sputteringly incapable of uttering the smallest criticism of their fellow travelers who led the anti equal rights campaign. Not one of them – Not One – uttered one word in defense of the poor. Not One.

Maybe you’ll be the first. But you’ll have to take time off from criticizing prolifers, who once again have reduced the number of abortions in this country year after year in spite of everything.

None of this has to do with this post, other than the Irish death post and this one both being a result, I think, of Mark not being terribly “with it.” But since the one comment thread, with its damning silences, was deleted along with the post, I’m glad to address the same issue here.

4

Not All Priests in Ireland Are Eunuchs

This took some courage considering the worthless hierarchy in Ireland:

 

According to the Adrian Kennedy & Jeremy Dixon talk show on 98Fm, a Dublin priest in the area of Dublin 14/16 told the congregation attending Mass on Sunday morning that if people voted yes in the referendum on the Eighth Amendment then they had no business going up to the alter to receive Holy Communion.

The Church is very clear in its teachings on the crime against the unborn baby where they say “thou shalt not kill”.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Catholicism and courage are a potent combination.  Since Vatican II the Church has been sorely lacking in both.

6

PopeWatch: His Base

John McCain sometimes jokingly refers to the media as “his base”.  (McCain seems to still be completely clueless, in spite of 2008, that the media gives him good coverage simply because he is a Republican who can always be counted on to stab other Republicans in the back or in the front.  When he is up against a Democrat who can beat him, the media then views him just as another knuckle dragging Republican.)  Recent developments indicate who the Pope considers to be his “base” as the author of the Dictator Pope notes:

 

A few days ago Pope Francis told the bishops of the Catholic Church that they need to be prepared to resign when the right time comes for them. He even said that he hoped he would know when the Holy Spirit wants him to resign, a remark that was taken as a hint (not the first he has given) that he intends to do so at some point. As we waited for a manifestation of this resolve, on 18 May we were given a dramatic sign. The entire Catholic hierarchy of Chile (all thirty-one active bishops, with three retired ones thrown in) have offered their resignation, supposedly because of failings in the handling of clerical sexual abuse in that country.

Any thought that this represents the new promptings of the Spirit would be off the mark. It is an effort to save face after the biggest public-relations blunder in Francis’s pontificate, the one he committed on January 18, when he defended Bishop Juan Barros against accusations of complicity in sexual abuse by the notorious Father Fernando Karadima in Chile. Pope Francis’s off-the-cuff pronouncements, which have earned him such popularity with the journalistic profession, on this occasion backfired on him. He declared that he had seen no proof of the sexual crimes alleged and that the accusations were slander. It was later demonstrated that Pope Francis had indeed seen the evidence, and he was dismissing the claims of victims who had been trying to gain justice for years.

The reason why this was such a disaster for Pope Francis was that, for the first time, it earned him criticism not only from such a senior figure as Cardinal O’Malley but from the liberal media, to whose applause he had been successfully playing for five years. A rescue operation was urgently needed. First of all, the Pope organised one of what may be called his “humility opportunities”, which he welcomes the way other celebrities like photo opportunities. There was a meeting with victims, and Pope Francis admitted his own failings; but this was nowhere near enough. To expiate his mistake, the Pope called all the Chilean bishops to Rome and told them — what? — that they were all to blame. One sentence from his rebuke is especially worth quoting: “No one can exempt himself and place the problem on the shoulders of the others” — a classic case of Francis’s frequent habit of denouncing other people for the faults of which he is the prime exemplar.

 

Go here to read the rest.  To understand the Pope one must view his Pontificate through a political prism, and an Argentinian political prism at that.  One must always pretend to be on the side of the poor and downtrodden while carefully cultivating the politically well connected and powerful.  That explains why the Pope rarely takes an action, as opposed to words, that would not garner him positive reviews in the New York Times, and its think alike colleagues throughout the West.  The role of a Pope is to convert the world to Christ.  The role of this Pope is to convert Christians to positions acceptable to the dominant mindset of the secular elites throughout the West.

13

Knife Control

Western elites are beyond parody these days, and the worst tend to be in Britain:

 

“Accordingly, it is very easy for any youth who wants to obtain a knife to take it from the kitchen drawer in his home or in the home of one of his friends.”

As a result – said the judge – the most common knife a youth will take out is eight to ten inches, long and pointed, from his mother’s cutlery tray.

He asked: “But why we do need eight-inch or ten-inch kitchen knives with points?

“Butchers and fishmongers do, but how often, if at all, does a domestic chef use the point of an eight-inch or ten-inch knife? Rarely, if at all.”

“Acknowledging that any blade could cause injury, the judge pointed out “slash wounds are rarely fatal.”

So, he said: “I would urge all those with any role in relation to knives – manufacturers, shops, the police, local authorities, the government – to consider preventing the sale of long pointed knives, except in rare, defined, circumstances, and replacing such knives with rounded ends.

“It might even be that the police could organise a programme whereby the owners of kitchen knives, which have been properly and lawfully bought for culinary purposes, could be taken somewhere to be modified, with the points being ground down into rounded ends,” he said.

Go here to read the rest.  Presumably there will eventually be calls for the amputation of hands so that fists cannot be formed.  How absurd!  That will not happen until the Jihadists take over from these worthless cretins.

Take Up Our Quarrel With The Foe

 

 

 

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row, 
That mark our place, and in the sky, 
The larks, still bravely singing, fly, 
Scarce heard amid the guns below. 

We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields. 

Take up our quarrel with the foe! 
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high! 
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, Canadian Army Medical Officer-
Died of cerebral meningitis on the Western Front on January 28, 1918

 

May 28, 1918: Battle of Cantigny

Appropriate that on this Memorial Day we remember the first victory of US troops in World War I:  the battle of Cantigny fought a century ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A relatively minor affair compared to the fighting that would come later in the year, the Americans of the First Division, the Big Red One, acquitted themselves well in their first battle.  Behind a rolling barrage supplied by the French, the men of the 28th Infantry regiment, supported by the 15th Infantry regiment, took the village of Cantigny from the 18th German Army in the early morning hours of May 28th and held it against three days of German counterattacks.  Casualties were about 1600 on each side, with the Yanks taking 250 prisoners.  The citizen soldiers of the  AEF had demonstrated that they could fight and win, and now it was merely a question of whether they would arrive in time to reverse the momentum the Germans were trying to build with their offensives in France.

Black Jack Logan and the First Memorial Day One Hundred and Fifty Years Ago

Freedom is not only a gift, but also a summons to personal responsibility. Americans know this from experience — almost every town in this country has its monuments honoring those who sacrificed their lives in defense of freedom, both at home and abroad.

                                                         Pope Benedict, April 16, 2008

 

 

John A. Logan is the father of Memorial Day.  Today he is largely forgotten except to Civil War buffs and that is a shame.  He was a fascinating man and he is largely responsible for establishing the tradition of putting aside a day in the calendar to our nation’s war dead.

Logan began the Civil War as a Democrat congressman from southern Illinois.  He was ardently anti-War even after the firing on Fort Sumter, denouncing the Lincoln administration and calling for peace and compromise.  He was attacked as being disloyal to the Union and an almost advocate of the Confederacy.

This perception changed in the twinkling of an eye at the battle of Bull Run.  Like many another congressman he went out to view the Union army launch an attack on the Confederates.  Unlike the other congressmen, Logan picked up a musket and, attaching himself to a Michigan regiment, blazed away at the Confederates with that musket.  This experience transformed Logan into an ardent advocate of the War.

He returned to Southern Illinois and gave a fiery speech in Marion, Illinois for the Union that helped swing that section of the state in support of the War.  Resigning from Congress, he helped raise an infantry regiment from southern Illinois, and was made colonel of the regiment, the 31rst Illinois.

Logan quickly made a name for himself as a fighter.  At the battle of Belmont he led his regiment in a successful charge, and was noted for his exceptional courage.  He would eventually be promoted to major general and was one of the best corp commanders in the Union army, briefly commanding the Army of the Tennessee.  He was wounded three times in the war, one of the wounds being serious enough that he was erroneously reported as killed, a report that might have been proven to be accurate if he had not been nursed back  to health by his wife.

Logan was never beaten in any engagement that he fought in during the War.  He was popular with his men who affectionately called him “Black Jack”, and would often chant his name on the battlefield as he led them from the front.  On May 24th 1865, as a tribute to his brilliant war record, he commanded the Army of the Tennessee during the victory Grand Review of the Union armies in Washington.

After the War, Logan began his political career anew, serving as a congressman from Illinois and a senator.  He was now a radical Republican and fought ardently for civil rights for blacks.  He ran for Vice President in 1884 on the Republican ticket that was defeated by Grover Cleveland.  He was considered the leading candidate for the Republican nomination in 1888, and might well have been elected President that year, but for his untimely death in 1886 at the age of sixty.

From 1868 to 1871, Logan served three consecutive terms as commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Union veteran’s association.  He started the custom of remembering the Union war dead on May 30th when he issued General Order Eleven on May 5, 1868:

Headquarters, Grand Army of the Republic
Washington, D.C., May 5, 1868

I. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose, among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foe? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their death a tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the Nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and found mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation’s gratitude,–the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.

II. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this Order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

III. Department commanders will use every effort to make this order effective.

By command of:
JOHN A. LOGAN,
Commander-in-Chief.

N. P. CHIPMAN,
Adjutant-General.

The May 30 Decoration Day events became a fixture of life in the Northern states.  The states of the old Confederacy had similar events to honor their Civil War dead, but on different dates, varying from state to state. The term Memorial Day was first used in 1882, but the name Decoration Day remained for the holiday until after World War II.  As Civil War veterans aged and passed from the scene, the day was broadened to remember all of America’s war dead.  The Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968 moved Memorial Day to the fourth Monday in May.

And so today we remember those we owe a debt to that can never be repaid.  We put up monuments to them that they cannot, in the flesh, see, give speeches that they cannot hear and write blog posts that they cannot read.   What they accomplished is far beyond “our poor power to add or detract” to, but it is very important that we never forget “what they did”.  Their sacrifices are why we enjoy this day in freedom, and that is worthy of remembrance not just on this day but every day.

 

 

5

Fresno Patriotism

Heartwarming for a Memorial Day weekend:

 

A crowd at a high school softball championship game burst into song after the announcer said they wouldn’t be playing the national anthem Friday in In Fresno, California.

According to Fresno Bee the stadium started booing after the announcer said: ‘There will be no anthem, let’s just play softball.’

Fan Tiffany Marquez said she was ‘shocked’ when the announcer said they weren’t going to play it. ‘Within seconds, you could hear people in the crowd singing and the volume of their voices building. There I was, standing in the middle of a true testament to unity and patriotism.’

Go here to read the rest.

What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.
Abraham Lincoln, September 11, 1858
1

The Trinity and Us




"The gates of heaven are lightly locked,
          We do not guard our gain,
          The heaviest hind may easily
          Come silently and suddenly
          Upon me in a lane.

          "And any little maid that walks
          In good thoughts apart,
          May break the guard of the Three Kings
          And see the dear and dreadful things
          I hid within my heart.

          "The meanest man in grey fields gone
          Behind the set of sun,
          Heareth between star and other star,
          Through the door of the darkness fallen ajar,
          The council, eldest of things that are,
          The talk of the Three in One.

          "The gates of heaven are lightly locked,
          We do not guard our gold,
          Men may uproot where worlds begin,
          Or read the name of the nameless sin;
          But if he fail or if he win
          To no good man is told.

          "The men of the East may spell the stars,
          And times and triumphs mark,
          But the men signed of the cross of Christ
          Go gaily in the dark.

          "The men of the East may search the scrolls
          For sure fates and fame,
          But the men that drink the blood of God
          Go singing to their shame.

          "The wise men know what wicked things
          Are written on the sky,
          They trim sad lamps, they touch sad strings,
          Hearing the heavy purple wings,
          Where the forgotten seraph kings
          Still plot how God shall die.

          "The wise men know all evil things
          Under the twisted trees,
          Where the perverse in pleasure pine
          And men are weary of green wine
          And sick of crimson seas.

          "But you and all the kind of Christ
          Are ignorant and brave,
          And you have wars you hardly win
          And souls you hardly save.

          "I tell you naught for your comfort,
          Yea, naught for your desire,
          Save that the sky grows darker yet
          And the sea rises higher.

          "Night shall be thrice night over you,
          And heaven an iron cope.
          Do you have joy without a cause,
          Yea, faith without a hope?"

Mary Speaking to King Alfred, GK Chesterton, Ballad of the White Horse

3

National Anthems and Love

A delightful video of 70 people attempting to sing the national anthems of their countries.  Being, I hope, an American patriot myself, I can appreciate patriotism for their native lands in others.  I never trust people who can never find anything good to say either about their families or their homelands.  God made us to love, and if we cannot love our nearest and dearest, that is sad, and usually, albeit not always, a shameful reflection on ourselves other than upon those we refuse to love.  I agree with Sir Walter Scott:

 

 

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, 
Who never to himself hath said, 
    This is my own, my native land! 
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd, 
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd, 
    From wandering on a foreign strand! 
If such there breathe, go, mark him well; 
For him no Minstrel raptures swell; 
High though his titles, proud his name, 
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim; 
Despite those titles, power, and pelf, 
The wretch, concentred all in self, 
Living, shall forfeit fair renown, 
And, doubly dying, shall go down 
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung, 
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.
31

Ireland Embraces Abortion

By about a two to one margin the former land of saints and scholars has decided to legalize the child murder that goes by the name of abortion.  I am saddened but not surprised.  The result mirrors the outcome of the gay  marriage referendum in 2015, and all the secular power centers in Ireland supported this result.

The idea that Catholic Ireland did this will be mourned by pro-lifers and celebrated by pro-aborts, and both will badly miss the point.  Catholic Ireland, which now consists of about a third of the voting population, did not do this.  What this vote symbolizes is that a majority of the Irish firmly embrace the Leftist cult that is a new, and aggressive, religion in all but name.  Most cults have what Catholics call sacraments, and for the Leftist cult abortion is the highest sacrament, with unborn children serving as human sacrifices.

Ireland, by American standards, has been politically left wing for a very long time, before Ronald Reagan was elected President.  However, the Faith still mattered to the majority of the Irish, even to many on the political left, and thus in 1983 the Eighth Amendment banning abortion was added to the Irish constitution by a two to one margin.  A generation and a half later such vestigial attachment to Catholicism has disappeared among two thirds of the population and Ireland joins the rest of almost all of Europe in going to war against their unwanted progeny.

The lesson for Catholics is that nations like Ireland can no longer be considered in any meaningful sense Catholic or even loosely Christian.  They are nations controlled by a hostile competing faith and should be treated as being mission territory.    Of course Pope Francis, whose silence on the referendum was deafening, will say nothing like this when he visits Ireland in August.  I doubt he will say anything about the referendum, and he will pretend that the Church in Ireland is not what it is:  a crushed reed and an extinguished candle.

1

PopeWatch: Shazaam!

News that PopeWatch missed, courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

 

VATICAN CITY—In an honest, impromptu homily delivered Monday, Pope Francis admitted he is just making most of his theology up as he goes, ignoring thousands of years of official Church doctrine in favor of “whatever pops into my head at the time.”

Where past Popes have been careful in their attempts to stay in line with official Catholic teaching, Pope Francis confessed he doesn’t really know much official doctrine, stating that he’s more of a “shoot from the hip kind of guy” when it comes to weighty topics of morality, salvation, God, and eternity.

“People ask me questions, and I’m not always sure what to say, so honestly I’m just winging it,” the Pope said in his candid, unscheduled address. “This job is really hard, when you think about it. Trying to be the Vicar of Christ and deal with everybody’s complicated theological questions all at the same time? Ugh. It gives me a headache. So I just start talking. Even I’m surprised with what comes out sometimes.”

“I just want everyone to know about, like, love and God and stuff,” he added thoughtfully before beginning to take questions from those gathered in the Sistine Chapel, with the Pope signing off on Christian fornication, adultery, and polygamy during the short impromptu Q&A session.

At publishing time, frantic Catholic leadership had located the Pope and tackled him to the ground to prevent him from saying anything further.

 

Now he tells us!  And with that PopeWatch will be on Memorial Day hiatus until May 29.

 

2

Stars and Stripes Forever

 

 

Something for the weekend.  For a Memorial Day weekend Stars and Stripes Forever seems called for.  Beyond a doubt the best known composition of John Philip Sousa, it is the National March of the United States.  Sousa wrote it on Christmas Day 1896 and it proved massively popular, especially when it was played during the Spanish-American War.

Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears ‘mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom’s shield and hope.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation,
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

A “unique”, yes that is what we will call it, muppet rendition of Stars and Stripes Forever, hosted by Sam the American Eagle, who is the answer to the question, “Don, if you were a muppet, which muppet would you be?”

 

 

Vladimir Horowitz was one of the greatest pianists of the last century.  He was also a refugee from the Soviet Union.  He became a naturalized American citizen in 1944, and, like many naturalized American citizens of that era, he was intensely patriotic, giving many concerts in support of the war effort.  Here is his immortal rendition of Stars and Stripes Forever from 1945.

 

10

Ah, the Germans Again

Once all the Germans were warlike and mean,
But that couldn’t happen again.
We taught them a lesson in 1918
And they’ve hardly bothered us since then.

Tom Lehrer, The MLF Lullaby

 

 

 

My favorite living historian, Victor Davis Hanson, reminds us that our good friends the Germans, our adversaries in two world wars, have been acting rather bizarrely of late:

 

Every 20 to 50 years in Germany, things start unraveling. Germans feel aggrieved. Ideas and movements gyrate wildly between far left and far right extremes. And the Germans finally find consensus in a sense of victimhood paradoxically expressed as national chauvinism. Germany’s neighbors in 1870, 1914, 1939—and increasingly in the present—usually bear the brunt of this national meltdown.

Germany is supposed to be the economic powerhouse of Europe, its financial leader, and its trusted and responsible political center. Often it plays those roles superbly. But recently, it’s been cracking up—in a way that is hauntingly familiar to its European neighbors. On mass immigration, it is beginning to terrify the nearby nations of Eastern Europe. On Brexit, it bullies the British. On finance, it alienates the southern Europeans. On Russia, it irks the Baltic States and makes the Scandinavians uneasy by doing business with the Russian energy interests. And on all matters American, it increasingly seems incensed.

Certainly, Germany has done some unbelievably strange things in the last ten years. In a fit of fear, after the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor meltdown in 2011, and in a huff about climate change, Berlin more or less abruptly junked traditionally generated electrical power and opted for inefficient and unreliable “green” renewable wind and solar—despite the less than Mediterranean nature of its climate and warnings of the financial downside. The result is that electricity costs have climbed 50 percent in recent years and are among the most expensive in the developed world—and electricity itself is sometimes scarce. In response to shortfalls in power generation, the German energy industry for now is looking at solutions like coal-fired plants, buying nuclear-generated electricity from its neighbors, and cutting deals with Vladimir Putin for natural gas. In other words, Germany spiraled from the one extreme of green idealists to the other of dirty coal, while counting on others to export their electricity into Germany.

Immigration is similar. A bipolar Germany cannot just take in a limited and manageable number of genuine refugees, hope to assimilate them—and then keep quiet about its resulting sense of noblesse oblige. Instead, in a little over a year, Berlin enthusiastically opened its borders and accepted over a million migrants who were mostly unvetted and from the Middle East and North Africa, defending this radical policy with virtue sloganeering about German magnanimity (“we can do this”). Until recently, a mostly homogenous Germany had little experience with diversity, much less with assimilating and integrating mostly impoverished, male, Muslim immigrants. The result of these massive influxes from the Middle East has often been chaos. In an Orwellian sort of good-deed imperialism, Germany hectors its worried, smaller, and far more vulnerable European neighbors to embrace the nearly suicidal German model of open European borders.

Germany has always had a “Jewish Problem.” In the late nineteenth-century, German academics became obsessed with pseudo-research about eugenics and racial purity—which often led to talk of both Aryan purity and crass anti-Semitism that played out in the real world with disastrous results during the Holocaust. After World War II, Germany tried to make amends through introspection, some reparations, and the subsidized sales of military supplies to Israel. Yet Germany seems to once again be embracing anti-Semitism quite aside from its fierce opposition to Israel. Dieter Graumann, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, has warned of the present climate: “These are the worst times since the Nazi era. On the streets, you hear things like ‘the Jews should be gassed,’ ‘the Jews should be burned.’ We haven’t had that in Germany for decades. Anyone saying those slogans isn’t criticizing Israeli politics, it’s just pure hatred against Jews: nothing else.”

In response to the growing hatred, Felix Klein, Germany’s newly appointed special envoy entrusted by the Merkel government with addressing the nation’s growing anti-Semitism—much of it the result of the influx of Muslims—recently shrugged it off, simply pointing out that more and more Jews are leaving Germany: “It is quite understandable that those who are scared for the safety of their children would consider leaving.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  Ever since Germany obtained unity courtesy of the brilliance of Bismarck and the stupidity of Napoleon III, the world has had good reason to pay close attention to Germany.  The Cold War caused Germany to play only a very limited role in world affairs, and Europe, under American auspices, knew peace and prosperity unprecedented in the history of that Continent.  Since Germany gained reunification, courtesy of American strength and Soviet dissolution, Germany has determined its own path and helped lead Europe down a dead end of economic fragility, mass Islamic immigration and military impotence.  It is always difficult to predict the future, but one can safely say that Europe is heading for a great change because its current course is unsustainable, and the Germans, almost certainly for the worse, are shaping that great change.

 

3

PopeWatch: Father Martin Hardest Hit

Father Z brings us an interesting tidbit:

At Vatican Insider I spotted something interesting.  Each Spring the Italian bishops have a plenary meeting at the Vatican’s Paul VI hall, in the smaller hall where the Synod usually meets.  The Pope attends at least part of the meeting.  This year was no exception.

This year the Pope told them… my fast translation from the Italian original:

“If there’s a doubt about homosexuality, it’s better not to have them enter the seminary.”

The words of the Pope in the closed door session with the Italian bishops: “Discernment is needed”. Reaffirmed what was in the Vatican documents of 2005 and 2016

With the pastors of the CEI (Italian bishops conference) – Vatican insider learned – Francis, speaking about the downturn in vocations, one of his “three worries” for the Italian church, he was, instead, more straightforward and, inviting the bishops to oversee more the quality of future priests, then the quantity, explicitly mentioned cases of homosexual persons who desire, for various motives, to enter into the seminary. Then he invited the bishops to a “careful discernment”, adding: “if you have also the slightest doubt it’s better not to let them enter”.

One indication, from the Pope, that expresses his deep concern: these tendencies, which are “deeply rooted”, and the practice of “homosexual acts”, can compromise the life of the seminary beyond that of the young man himself and an eventual future priesthood. They can generate those “scandals” of which the Pope had spoken in his discourse at the opening of the assembly of the Italian bishops in the new hall of the Synod, that disfigure the face of the Church.

Between the lines one can read what was already put in black and white by Pope Francis in a letter of meditation given brevi manu [directly] to the Chile in bishops during their meeting in the Vatican. In a note added to the text. The Pontiff denounced verified problems in seminaries where – as he wrote – bishops and religious superiors have entrusted control to “priests suspected of practicing homosexuality”.

[…]

There’s more, but it mainly reviews what previous documents say about homosexual candidates or seminarians.  I suspect someone will translate the whole thing soon… for the sake of general Jesuit reading.

 

Go here to read the rest.  The Lavender Mafia at the Vatican must be scratching their heads over this one.

 

7

PopeWatch: Mark Shea Hardest Hit

At last, a point of agreement:

 

Pope Francis has told the Italian bishops that it is “not a sin to criticise the Pope here” as he opened their General Assembly.

Go here to read the rest.

 

“Peter has no need of our lies or flattery. Those who blindly and indiscriminately defend every decision of the Supreme Pontiff are the very ones who do most to undermine the authority of the Holy See—they destroy instead of strengthening its foundations.” – Fr. Melchior Cano O.P., Bishop and Theologian of the Council of Trent.

9

American History: Memorial Day Weekend Movies

“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”

              Inscription on the memorial to the dead of the British 2nd Infantry Division at Kohima.

A few films to help remember that there is much greater significance to Memorial Day than sun and fun:

 

1.  American Sniper (2015)- A grand tribute to the late Chris Kyle and to all the other troops who served in Iraq.

“I am a strong Christian. Not a perfect one—not close. But I strongly believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible. When I die, God is going to hold me accountable for everything I’ve done on earth. He may hold me back until last and run everybody else through the line, because it will take so long to go over all my sins. “Mr. Kyle, let’s go into the backroom. . . .” Honestly, I don’t know what will really happen on Judgment Day. But what I lean toward is that you know all of your sins, and God knows them all, and shame comes over you at the reality that He knows. I believe the fact that I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior will be my salvation. But in that backroom or whatever it is when God confronts me with my sins, I do not believe any of the kills I had during the war will be among them. Everyone I shot was evil. I had good cause on every shot. They all deserved to die.”
Chis Kyle

2.   Hamburger Hill (1987)- A moving film about our troops in Vietnam who served their nation far better than their too often ungrateful nation served them.

3.  Porkchop Hill (1959)-Korea has become to too many Americans The Forgotten War, lost between World War II and Vietnam.  There is nothing forgotten about it by the Americans who served over there,  including my Uncle Ralph McClarey who died a few years ago, and gained a hard won victory for the US in one of the major hot conflicts of the Cold War.  This film tells the story of the small American force on Porkchop Hill, who held it in the face of repeated assaults by superior forces of the Chinese and North Koreans.  As the above clip indicates it also highlights the surreal element that accompanies every war and the grim humor that aspect often brings.

4.   Hacksaw Ridge (2016):  Mel Gibson fully redeemed his career as a director with this masterpiece.  A film that goes far beyond mere entertainment and illustrates what a man of faith can accomplish when he stays true to his beliefs and cares so much more about helping others than he does about his own mortal life.  Incredibly, the movie does justice to Desmond Doss, a true American hero.

 

 5.   Sergeant York (1941)-A film biopic of Sergeant Alvin C. York, who, during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive  on October 8,  1918, took 32 German machine guns, killed 28 German soldiers and captured another 132.  Viewers who came to see the movie in 1941 must have been initially puzzled.  With a title like Sergeant York, movie goers could have been forgiven for thinking that Sergeant York’s experiences in World War I would be the focus, but such was not the case.  Most of the film is focused on York’s life in Tennessee from 1916-1917 before American entry into the war.  Like most masterpieces, the film has a strong religious theme as we witness York’s conversion to Christ.  The film is full of big questions:  How are we to live?  Why are we here?  What role should religion play in our lives?  How does someone gain faith?  What should we do if we perceive our duty to God and to Country to be in conflict?  It poses possible answers to these questions with a skillful mixture of humor and drama.  The entertainment value of Sergeant York conceals the fact that it is a very deep film intellectually as it addresses issues as old as Man.

The film was clearly a message film and made no bones about it.  The paper of the film industry Variety noted at the time:  “In Sergeant York the screen has spoken for national defense. Not in propaganda, but in theater.”

The film was a huge success upon release in 1941, the top grossing film of the year.  Gary Cooper justly earned the Oscar for his stellar performance as Alvin C. York.  It was Cooper’s favorite of his pictures.  “Sergeant York and I had quite a few things in common, even before I played him in screen. We both were raised in the mountains – Tennessee for him, Montana for me – and learned to ride and shoot as a natural part of growing up. Sergeant York won me an Academy Award, but that’s not why it’s my favorite film. I liked the role because of the background of the picture, and because I was portraying a good, sound American character.”

The film portrays a devout Christian who had to reconcile the command to “Love thy Neighbor” with fighting for his country in a war.  This is not an easy question and the film does not give easy answers, although I do find the clip above compelling. Continue Reading

10

Jordan Peterson: Political Correctness Debate

In a time when much of the Left seems dedicated to shouting down or ignoring most conservatives, Jordan Peterson gets different treatment.  Due to his huge internet following among the young, Peterson is viewed as a threat.  Along with their usual tactics of shout down and demonize, Leftists also attempt to debate Peterson which is for them a mistake.  He is a clear thinker and speaker and in our debased times those are increasingly rare commodities, and allows him to take apart his adversaries in face to face settings.  I appreciate Peterson’s zest for verbal combat and the cut and thrust of a true clash of ideas.  Peterson is beginning to receive some criticism from conservative sources, some manifestly jealous of his success.  Myself, I have always accepted allies in a fight even if we may not agree on all issues.  Peterson calls to mind this statement of Lincoln in reference to criticism of General Grant after the battle of Shiloh as related by Pennsylvania Republican politician Alexander McClure:

“I appealed to Lincoln for his own sake to remove Grant at once, and, in giving my reasons for it, I simply voiced the admittedly overwhelming protest from the loyal people of the land against Grant’s continuance in command. I could form no judgment during the conversation as to what effect my arguments had upon him beyond the fact that he was greatly distressed at this new complication. When I had said everything that could be said from my standpoint, we lapsed into silence. Lincoln remained silent for what seemed a very long time. He then gathered himself up in his chair and said in a tone of earnestness that I shall never forget: ‘I can’t spare this man; he fights.’

 

 

 

 

1918 Decoration Day Proclamation of President Wilson

The American-born boys and the Greeks, Irish, Poles, Jews, and Italians who were in my platoon in the World War. A heap of them couldn’t speaker write the American language until they larned it in the Army. Over here in the training camps and behind the lines in France a right-smart lot of them boozed, gambled, cussed, and went A. W. O. L. But once they got into it Over There they kept on a-going. They were only tollable shots and burned up a most awful lot of ammunition. But jest the same they always kept on a-going. Most of them died like men, with their rifles and bayonets in their hands and their faces to the enemy. I’m a-thinkin* they were real heroes. Any way they were my buddies. I jes learned to love them.

SERGEANT ALVIN C. YORK

 

 

 

By the President of the United States of America
A ProclamationWhereas, the Congress of the United States, on the second day of April last, passed the following resolution:

“Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That, it being a duty peculiarly incumbent in a time of war humbly and devoutly to acknowledge our dependence on Almighty God and to implore His aid and protection, the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, respectfully requested to recommend a day of public humiliation, prayer, and fasting, to be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnity and the offering of fervent supplications to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of our cause, His blessings on our arms, and a speedy restoration of an honorable and lasting peace to the nations of the earth;”

And Whereas, it has always been the reverent habit of the people of the United States to turn in humble appeal to Almighty God for His guidance in the affairs of their common life;

Now, Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Thursday, the thirtieth day of May, a day already freighted with sacred and stimulating memories, a day of public humiliation, prayer and fasting, and do exhort my fellow-citizens of all faiths and creeds to assemble on that day in their several places of worship and there, as well as in their homes, to pray Almighty God that He may forgive our sins and shortcomings as a people and purify our hearts to see and love the truth, to accept and defend all things that are just and right, and to purpose only those righteous acts and judgments which are in conformity with His will; beseeching Him that He will give victory to our armies as they fight for freedom, wisdom to those who take counsel on our behalf in these days of dark struggle and perplexity, and steadfastness to our people to make sacrifice to the utmost in support of what is just and true, bringing us at last the peace in which men’s hearts can be at rest because it is founded upon mercy, justice and good will.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done in the District of Columbia this eleventh day of May, in the year of our Lord Nineteen hundred and eighteen and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and forty-second.

 

 

11

PopeWatch: Blame

Anyone doubt that the Pope said this?

 

Pope Francis’ reported comments to a gay man that “God made you like this” have been embraced by the LGBT community as another sign of Francis’ desire to make gay people feel welcomed and loved in the Catholic Church.

Juan Carlos Cruz, the main whistleblower in Chile’s clerical sex abuse and cover-up scandal, said Monday he spoke to Francis about his homosexuality during their recent meetings at the Vatican. The pope invited Cruz and other victims of a Chilean predator priest to discuss their cases last month.

Cruz said he told Francis how Chile’s bishops used his sexual orientation as a weapon to try to discredit him, and of the pain the personal attacks had caused him.

“He said, ‘Look Juan Carlos, the pope loves you this way. God made you like this and he loves you,'” Cruz told The Associated Press.

The Vatican declined to confirm or deny the remarks in keeping with its policy not to comment on the pope’s private conversations. The comments first were reported by Spain’s El Pais newspaper.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Note that these private comments, which the Vatican never confirms nor denies, always go one way:  against traditional teaching.  That such off the cuff remarks produce chaos within the Church is for this Pope a feature not a bug.  PopeWatch really does not blame the Pope anymore.  He is what he is.  PopeWatch does blame the clergy and the laity who sit idly by as Francis drives the Church off a cliff.

1

Code of Military Conduct

The things you find on the internet!  Jack Webb in a 1959 video explaining the US Code of Military Conduct.

 

 

American POWs have a long and honorable history of making life as difficult for their captors as possible:

“The Americans were what might be called bad prisoners. A group of 14 were brought in one day and when asked about their units refused to talk. They refused to work and talked back to the officers, much to the annoyance of the officers and the concealed delight of the men.”

—Paul Heinman, German soldier in World War I

 

 

US Code of Military Conduct

Article I:

I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

Article II:

I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.

Article III:

If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

Article IV:

If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.

Article V:

When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.

Article VI:

I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.

14

Playing the Race Card

“My sadness is that we are probably today more race and difference-conscious than I was in the 1960s when I went to school. To my knowledge, I was the first black kid in Savannah, Ga., to go to a white school. Rarely did the issue of race come up. …

“Now, name a day it doesn’t come up. Differences in race, differences in sex, somebody doesn’t look at you right, somebody says something. Everybody is sensitive. If I had been as sensitive as that in the 1960s, I’d still be in Savannah. Every person in this room has endured a slight. Every person. Somebody has said something that has hurt their feelings or did something to them — left them out.”

Justice Clarence Thomas, February 11, 2014

 

 

 

Race has always been a poisonous issue in American politics, and no wonder with one of the two major parties, the Democrat party, constantly using race hatred to whip up votes.    In the 1960s the Democrats changed the nature of their racial appeals, but the tactic remained the same:

 

Rather than judging people by the content of their characters, America is more race obsessed now than ever:

 

 

We, as a nation, need to get beyond the politics of grievance, especially in regard to race.   It may seem impossible to do, but it is also an essential thing to do.

“Whether one traces his Americanism back three centuries to the Mayflower, or three years of the steerage, is not half so important as whether his Americanism of to-day is real and genuine. No matter by what various crafts we came here, we are all now in the same boat.”

President Calvin Coolidge, 1925